There was a Devolved Voices presence at the Aberystwyth University ‘Access All Areas’ day this last Saturday, with two of the team – Peter Barry and Matthew Jarvis – staffing the stall for the Department of English & Creative Writing.
We had a busy afternoon, talking to people of primary school age and upwards. The activity that we’d arranged was a sort of poetry game – specifically a ‘cloze procedure’ task, in which words have been taken out of a poem so that participants have to decide which words should be chosen to fill the gaps. (The two poems that we used were by Jonathan Edwards, from his Costa Poetry Prize-winning collection My Family and Other Superheroes.) It was fascinating to see quite how much this gave us a chance to explore a whole range of ideas around meanings, rhythm, and register. And it was great to see people engaging so enthusiastically with poetry.
Our thanks go to the Department of English & Creative Writing for asking us to be their representatives. And to Aberystwyth University themselves…who very helpfully put us just across the room from the chocolate fountain, which kept a steady flow of people coming past our own stall. Chocolate then poetry – what’s not to like?!